Research by the New Economics Foundation has shown that for every £1 spent on seasonal, local ingredients, a further £1.19 of economic activity can be generated - that surely has to be a good reason to source your food locally and not just for the upcoming Christmas celebrations?

And while we often remind the public about making a commitment to buy their food locally (it is after all of fantastic quality), it is worth noting that each year, £2.4bn is spent by Government bodies on food.

While procurement of UK agricultural produce by some Authorities has improved significantly over recent years, there remain significant numbers which fail to support British agriculture, choosing instead to accept produce from countries which often fail to meet the UK’s high production standards.

The 2014 launch by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ of Sir Peter Bonfield’s Plan for Local Procurement marked an important move towards distinguishing between ‘cheapest’ and ‘best value’, and recognition that responsible procurement can bring a range of benefits to wider society.

The decision to leave the EU presents an opportunity to revisit procurement laws and policies in a way which ensures public bodies lead by example in terms of supporting local, Welsh and UK food and farming businesses.

We firmly believe that the next UK Government should, therefore, place further emphasise on the benefits of local procurement and work to ensure that the principles laid down in the Plan for Local Procurement are adhered to in a way which results in investment in and benefits to UK businesses.

They should also review procurement rules in light of Brexit, with a view to introducing policies which make support for local and British businesses by public bodies a priority and proactively encourage and facilitate public and private sector procurement of UK produce in a manner that supports small, medium and large processors and cooperatives.

It can’t be stressed enough that we need to instigate procurement policies which encourage the creation of new companies and cooperatives which allow smaller businesses to tender for procurement, in order to bring benefits in terms of local employment and redressing imbalances that currently exist throughout the supply chain.

This, the FUW believes, should be done in a way which raises awareness of and confidence in UK produce, both amongst UK citizens and visitors to the UK.

So when you’re out and about food shopping for Christmas, remember that our food produce is grown and reared to the highest welfare standards across Europe or in the world even and that by shopping local you help keep the wheels of our rural economies turning.